A poem by David Coldwell


Holding hands, we balance and hop
in silence through the long grass so as
not to wake the farm dogs.
The metal field gate resists my push
and prints a leaf green pattern on my coat
whilst I shoulder it wide into the land. You’re riding high,
holding tightly until thin pink wellingtons skid
off and your cry wakes the dogs.

This day, this walk, this place where we rest
is bottled heart shaped in the spring light.
Your cry subsides to a murmur and a big bottom lip
slowly disappears as I hand you the flower,

the seed head that you take tightly in your hand;
never letting go as though life depended on it.
The blow ball slowly disappears to the wind,
dissolving to nothing as the hours fizz away.

You’re now ahead of me
bending at the knees to pick a bunch,
spinning and singing as you watch each magic dance;
feathered angels that slowly part and fade away.

Time is against us but I show you the game:
we count with each forced breath
until there is nothing left
but the bare green stem, held tightly.

Make a wish, you shout
with excited eyes of something only you know.
I take back your hand, swinging as you skip
I already have, I say, as you break free.
(First published in the anthology, Heart Shoots, from Indigo Dreams)
David Coldwell‘s poems have appeared in, among other places, The Rialto, Ariadne’s Thread, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Eunoia Review and the 2013 Templar anthology, Peloton. His first short collection of poems, The Curiosity Cricket Bat, was longlisted in the Poetry School’s inaugural pamphlet completion. David (@d_coldwell on Twitter) is also a regular contributor to the Marsden-based, Write Out Loud organisation which promotes poetry performance across the country.